Scott Forstall was fired from Apple 10 years ago today

It may be hard to believe, but it’s been ten years since Scott Forstall fired Apple. Forstall was replaced by Craig Federighi on October 29, 2012, although he remained as a consultant for the next six months.

Here’s a look back at what happened… and what happened next.

Map of Forstall’s death

Forstall was one of Steve Jobs’ closest friends at Apple. They eat lunch and work together all the time. But after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, rumors began to circulate that Forstall was not well liked in management circles. Many saw Forstall as emulating Jobs, and was quick to avoid mistakes. In particular, Forstall said to clash with Jony Ive, the head of industrial design, because they did not want to meet together.

While Forstall is known to be badass (at least at the management level, many people who have spoken to him have drawn warm praise for his leadership in the years since), it is growing the iPhone and iOS, and Forstall’s political gain to represent Apple’s software division seems inevitable. He may not have many friends in the management team, but it is hard to deny the results of his team. However, September 2012 came with the launch of iOS 6.

iOS 6 introduced a new Maps app, using Apple data and GPS, to replace Google Maps as the stock map app on the phone. The launch was a general disaster. Apple Maps data sources are either completely incorrect or incomplete. Navigation is unreliable and the 3D city Flyover feature shows rendering issues for many landmarks. Apple Maps are making national headlines for all the wrong reasons. Some speculated that Apple had only tested it in California (which turned out to be a half-truth). Just a week after the release of iOS 6, Apple issued an apology letter admitting that the quality of Maps was not up to standard. The letter urged consumers to download third-party mapping applications such as MapQuest and Waze.

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This open letter is signed by Tim Cook. It was reported in major newspapers such as New York Times Cook wanted Forstall to sign the letter, but Forstall refused because he saw that there had been too many complaints about the Plans. Cook saw the refusal to accept responsibility as the last straw and decided it was time for Forstall to go.

The executive team was announced in a press release titled “Apple Announces Changes to Increase Collaboration Across Hardware, Software and Services.”

Craig Federighi takes control of all of Apple’s operating systems, iOS and OS X (now known as macOS). Eddy Cue was credited with Siri and Maps. Jony Ive is in charge of the human interface team, in addition to hardware design.

John Browett left at the same time

While the departure of Scott Forstall was the main story, Apple Retail SVP John Browett was also fired at the same time. His marketing reign was a disaster, from pay to push in that calendar year. Most importantly he introduced a new trade wage law that saw part-time workers’ hours cut to a minimum (and some layoffs) across the board, apparently to drive down wages. . The impact on employee satisfaction and customer experience in stores was immediate. In August, Apple completely reversed the policy, and the PR team released a statement describing the changes as a mistake. All in all, his appointment was announced in January 2012, he started work in April and was fired in October – just seven months on the job.

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The event

Jony Ive’s high profile work led directly to the introduction of flat design aesthetics in Apple’s software. When Ive took over, he began working on the iOS 7 system design.

Skeuomorphic objects and highly detailed textures in Apple apps were replaced with white backgrounds, line art icons, and simplified buttons, visible only in color, without any kind of border or background. Engineering teams deliver the biggest visual change to iOS on the fastest development schedule.

The first beta of iOS 7 was released in June 2013, at WWDC. iOS 7 hosting is controversial; some loved it, some hated it. iOS 7 will keep the general industry standard, but will be more advanced. Future updates to iOS have seen the return of things like borders around buttons, some shadows, and simpler images with default line weights and fonts.

To its credit, Apple has a lot of money in Plans to pay for the initial problem. It invested and hired them around the world to advance their plan technology, including one of its first major engineering bases in India. Early versions of Maps collected data from partners like TomTom. In 2018, Apple revealed that it was rebuilding Maps from the ground up, and that it was building a new all-in-one data layer, a major role that would include managing its own ground-truth fleet. . This release was well received and Apple Maps is a competitor to Google Maps today. In fact, Maps has remained under Cue’s control since the 2012 shuffle, but Siri’s focus has shifted to different groups — and less progress has been made.

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Apple took a while to find a replacement for the SVP of marketing. He hired Angela Ahrendts in 2014, who helped unify Apple’s online and brick-and-mortar experiences and worked with Ive to introduce major design changes to retail stores. Some of Ahrendts’ ambitions – to turn Apple stores into public cities – were not very successful, although the project continues with various forums today at Apple events. Ahrendts left in 2019 and was replaced by Apple veteran Deirdre O’Brien.

Forstall himself has kept a low profile over the years. He has invested privately in several technology companies and was an advisor to Snapchat in 2015. He seems to be very interested in philanthropy and has helped produce some Broadway plays. He appeared for the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, in a television interview with the Computer History Museum.

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